Good thing Fan Appreciation Day isn't until Sunday, because there wasn’t much of anything for anybody tonight.
James Shields gave up his 39th and 40th homers of the season while Hector Santiago and three Twins relievers combined for a four-hitter. All four of the White Sox’ hits were singles, and they only had three chances with a runner in scoring position (they went 0-for-3).
Shields matched Santiago pitch-for-pitch through three, but he walked Brian Dozier to start the fourth, and Jorge Polanco followed with a homer into the Twins bullpen in right field. The fifth inning was a rerun, except Logan Schafer drew the leadoff walk, and Byron Buxton hit the two-run homer.
That put the game out of reach, although Buxton used his speed to score runs in the seventh and ninth inning for good measure. Both times he reached with two outs -- a walk in the seventh, a dropped third strike in the ninth — and both times he scored from first on a Juan Centeno double.
The White Sox could never produce that kind of excitement, even against Santiago, who was still searching for success with the Twins. He came into this start 2-6 with a 6.22 ERA for Minnesota since a deadline trade with the Angels, including a whopping 13 homers in 55 innings.
Then again, the White Sox have been the cure for what ails him all season. Santiago entered tonight 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA in three starts against his former team this season, and now he’s 4-0 with a 1.03 ERA and 23 baserunners to 29 strikeouts over 26⅓ innings. Three of these four outings have been scoreless. The White Sox might want to figure him out, because he could be around the division for a while.
Shields, on the other hand, finishes the year 6-19 with a 5.85 ERA, or 4-12 with a 6.77 ERA with the White Sox. Either way, yech.